Belfonti acquires Aruba resort for $230m

In its first resort purchase, the New York-based firm has acquired a resort and casino from Aruba Hotel Enterprises.

Belfonti Capital Partners has acquired the Aruba Resort, Spa & Casino in Palm Beach, Aruba for $230 million (€180 million) from Aruba Hotel Enterprises.

The resort, formerly known as Wyndham Resort, is a 478-room luxury resort and is the largest hotel in Aruba. The resort also contains the 12,000 square foot Casablanca Casino.

Michael Belfonti, chairman of Belfonti Capital Partners, said the two biggest assets to the resort are its location outside the Caribbean’s “hurricane belt” and its access to a very closed market. The island’s hospitality market has substantial barriers to entry, as the government of Aruba has imposed strict development guidelines and limitations. There is also limited access to beachfront property.

The property’s retail space is currently 100 percent leased and has a variety of shops and restaurants. Belfonti said the firm plans to institute a variety of capital improvements to the property.

Belfonti Capital focuses on acquiring real estate development and investment opportunities throughout the United States and internationally, pursuing major real estate opportunities in excess of $100 million. This is the firm’s first acquisition of this type, however the firm said it plans on making similiar investments in the future.